Ljubljana – As many as 69 children suffering from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children have been treated at Slovenia’s only children’s hospital since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in March 2020. Immunologist Tadej Avčin from the Ljubljana Paediatric Clinic says this makes the two-million nation a world leader per capita.
This is a good indicator of how spread the coronavirus is in the general population, the head of the department of children’s allergology, rheumatology and clinical immunology at the hospital said in an interview with N1 news portal on Saturday.
MIS-C has been the most frequent systemic immune disease his department has treated in the past two years, with an absolute record of 17 cases last December alone.
Around one in 1,000 children would suffer from this excessive inflammatory reaction after they have been infected with the novel coronavirus, he explained.
While children are severely affected in the acute stage of the disease, long-term consequences are yet to be fully determined.
“We closely follow all these children, paying particularly attention to potential heart problems, but for now it seems the heart is not affected in the long-run.”
Their monitoring also shows that 15-20% of the children who were ill with MIS-C later developed attention and concentration disorders.
The majority of the children with MIS-C had no chronic diseases before developing this disease, practically all of them had a healthy immune system, he explained.
It is not clear yet whether the Omicron variant poses as great a risk as Delta for developing MIS-C, but he nevertheless strongly supports vaccination of children.
Avčin, a member of the national immunisation advisory group, said that once children are vaccinated with two doses, MIS-C hardly appears anymore.
This does not mean he supports mandatory vaccination, saying the unvaccinated should simply accept the fact that certain limitations apply to them so that society can function normally.
Children from the age of 5 can be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Slovenia.